[SethBling] really likes Minecraft. How can you tell? A quick look at his YouTube channel should convince you, especially the one where he built a full-blown BASIC interpreter in Minecraft. It is not going to win any speed races, as you might expect, but it does work.
For novelty and wow factor, this is amazing. As a practical matter, it is hard to imagine the real value since there are plenty of ways a new programmer could get access to BASIC. Still, you have to admire the sheer audacity of making the attempt. One Hackaday poster (who shall remain nameless) once won a case of beer by betting someone he or she could write a BASIC compiler in BASIC, so we aren’t sticklers for practicality.
Because the interpreter is so slow, we had wished the prime number algorithm in the demo video (see below) had been just a little more efficient. First, you don’t have to check numbers greater than the square root of the target number, since any factor in that range will reveal another factor that is greater than the square root. If the BASIC interpreter didn’t have a square root function, you could, at least, stop at half the target number. Of course, you could also keep a list of primes and skip testing any non-prime factor. After all, if (for example) 15 evenly divides your number, so will 5 and 3, right? But that’s algorithm design and takes nothing away from the BASIC.
We’ve seen a 6502 running Forth in Minecraft, so it’s good to see BASIC getting its day in the sun as well. We still see pockets of BASIC interest, like the fairly new interpreter that turns an ESP8266 into an ersatz BASIC Stamp.